Younger children likely to transmit covid-19

·1-min read
A small child, once infected with covid-19, would be more likely to infect his or her relatives than an adolescent.

According to a Canadian study, a young child (0 to 3 years old) potentially spreads more virus than an adolescent (14 to 17 years old).

What are the chances of contracting covid-19 within the family circle? While covid-19 infection in a child is often benign, the child can transmit it to their entourage and cause more serious cases.

Canadian researchers have measured transmission probability in young children compared to adolescents. The results are published in the journal Jama Pediatrics.

A total of 6,280 Canadian households were studied between June 1 and December 31, 2020. In each household, at least one case of SARS-CoV-2 infection under 18 years of age was present.

Their findings? Children aged 0 to 3 years were more likely to transmit the infection than adolescents aged 14 to 17. "This means that younger children may have a higher risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to caregivers and siblings in the household than older children," the researchers explain.

Why such a difference? Putting a young child in isolation is "almost impossible," while regular hand washing and mask use are also difficult to implement.

The researchers recalled the importance of barrier measures (avoiding physical contact, wearing a mask and washing hands regularly) and point out that an adult still spreads more virus than a child.

Louis Tardy

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